where did you sleep last night

kurt cobain1

nirvana unplugged is my all time favorite album, one of those that i tend to listen to almost everyday  / and every time i listen to it, i feel the loss of kurt cobain and what could have been / the album does not contain nirvana’s anthem songs \ rather cover versions of songs by cobain’s favorite musicians such as the meat puppets, the vaselines, and lead belly  / where did you sleep last night is raw, emotional, and tormented \ this ends the set and it was reported that cobain argued with the unplugged producers and refused to do an encore because he felt he could not top his performance of this song / i wholeheartedly agree

  • nirvana


from wikipedia

“In the Pines”, also known as “Black Girl” and “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”, is a traditional American folk song which dates back to at least the 1870s, and is believed to be Southern Appalachian in origin. The identity of the song’s author is unknown, but it has been recorded by many artists in numerous genres. Traditionally, it is most often associated with the American blues musician Lead Belly, who recorded several versions in the 1940s, as well as the American bluegrass musician Bill Monroe, who helped popularize the song (in a different variant, featuring lyrics about a train) among bluegrass and country audiences with his versions recorded in the 1940s and 1950s.


didn’t realize that a few weeks ago marked the 20th anniversary of nirvana unplugged

 i like lori goldston’s self-description as “classically trained and rigorously de-trained” / she toured with and played cello for nirvana and its sound adds the right emotional layer to most of the pieces in unplugged | here she is 20 years later



halo-halo dreaming

with authentic halo halo1halo-halo reduced & the real deal!

at the new store on the block, i got the jar of halo-halo mix on impulse after seeing it beside a jar of ube < purple yam > that i had intended to give a colleague at work who had been searching for ube ice cream / my office version of halo-halo had langka, nata de coco, macapuno and sweet beans \  fresh banana instead of saging na saba < a triploid hybrid (ABB) banana cultivar originating from the philippines | primarily a cooking banana > / cubed ice instead of shaved | half-and-half instead of evaporated milk \ so five out of at least 15 standard ingredients, pretty lame / didn’t do justice to this popular filipino summertime dessert \ ube colleague and one of the two 1/2 filipinos were not at work today so we will have to reprise this when they get back / it’s got to be less disappointing

from wikipedia

Halo-halo (from Tagalog word halò, “mix”) is a popular Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits, and served in a tall glass or bowl.  Ingredients include boiled kidney beans, garbanzos, sugar palm fruit (kaong), coconut sport (macapuno), and plantains caramelized in sugar, jackfruit (langkâ), gulaman, tapioca, nata de coco, sweet potato (kamote), cheese, pounded crushed young rice (pinipig). In terms of arrangement, most of the ingredients (fruits, beans, and other sweets) are first placed inside the tall glass, followed by the shaved ice. This is then sprinkled with sugar, and topped with either (or a combination of) leche flan, purple yam (ubeng pula), or ice cream. Evaporated milk is poured into the mixture upon serving.

google=nefarious cookie monster


i could have titled this post “the price of information” or “the cost of your digital life” but google’s actions that i had not known before today galled me / the news was about google’s $17mm settlement with the attorney general for bypassing the privacy settings of safari users / they installed doubleclick <ad server> cookies without informing users \ safari to me is like a safe haven from google eyes / and this revelation is disconcerting

since google changed its privacy policies more than a year ago, their placement of highly relevant, well-timed banner ads wherever i go in my non-apple devices is not helpful but creepy and annoying / i can fend for myself, thank you \ it’s like the obtrusive salesperson tailing you when you just want to be left alone / and how much do they know? \ coincidentally, i had just deleted my facebook account / though i kept mostly to myself, facebook is still too loud and too intrusive of my space \ i find the newsfeed too pushy and on the whole, this facebook thing is too social for me

so in exchange for information and a digital life are bits of yourself | the onus is on the user to keep these bits private as one desires / i have made it a practice to regularly delete cookies and to use in-private browsing in explorer, incognito window in chrome and private in safari \ but all these precautions are probably moot / google won’t need, doesn’t need cookies \ they can already track us with our omnipresent devices

google’s iphone tracking


the total settlement is a trivial $40mm



thelma without louise


on a full moon rowers’ night i met the friendliest cat ever, thelma < sibling of the departed louise >  if i were an animal lover, i wouldn’t mind the company of a cat like thelma \  i like the aloofness and independence of cats / an affectionate friendly cat is an anomaly and i bet she’s thinking love what you hate  \ at the party, thelma goes about greeting every guest even the littlest ones / she settles with a few of us who are charmed by her charm, her captive audience \ lying like a cozy rug, she stretches and curls and lets me run my fingers on her caramel-coffee blended fur

here’s the full moon

fullmoon wide


new store on the block

new oriental store1

it’s on smallman near the 31st street bridge, the only oriental store for many blocks away from the hustle and bustle of the strip / i pass it everyday and a few months after it opened i finally found reason to visit < out of rice, need lumpia wrapper > on a friday evening, i am one of five customers \ having found the 25 lb bag of milagrosa jasmine rice and spring roll wrappers of just the right size, i meander about the store / it is stocked up with the delights i seek:  roasted chestnuts, salted duck eggs, rice crackers and … < ramen noodles! >

i’m probably not alone among former graduate students when i confess that ramen noodles hold a special place in my stomach \ since then ramen noodles has been a pantry staple / i was searching for the spicy version that i had discovered in the past year or so \ it was not the typical 20 cent bland ramen < it is premium-priced @$1.89 and  spicy seafood flavored >  here it is only 99 cents!  when i inquired about it, i was told it was not typically sold in cases but they would sell it to me, with a 10% discount  / i resisted, instead got a sampling various brands including their premium-priced ramen noodles black \ black probably because of the lonely sliver of dried black mushroom that comes with one of the three (!) seasoning packets, indeed a class above ramens


this new store “many more” was featured in the  1/30/14 pittsburgh post gazette article about asian markets in pittsburgh

new asian store-many more1


less than six

banjolele pair

i had planned to spend the day-off practising or learning a new a piece with one or all of these < guitar lute uke mandolin >  but none of them made it to my arms that workless day,  just my pillow  \ banjo and uke: the most cheerful and welcoming of string instruments \ never saw a pairing like this until market square today

i highly recommend the uke for those with a tendency to depression and melancholia | just have it sitting around may even be enough  / but with only four strings and a neck that’s not very wide, it is very easy to play / the banjo is a close second \ such a bright responsive instrument | like someone who is easy to make friends with / a hybrid of the two is the banjolele

from wikipedia | The instrument achieved its greatest popularity in the 1920s and ’30s, and combines the small scale, tuning, and playing style of a ukulele with the construction and distinctive tone of a banjo, hence the name. Its development was pushed by the need for vaudeville performers to have an instrument that played with the ease of the ukulele, but with more volume.


love what you hate

first snow-first erg

captures positive thinking \ and is our rowing team’s unofficial slogan thanks to our mate with the funny accent / today was our first day of indoor rowing training which coincidentally is also our first snowfall in pittsburgh \ both did not disappoint < 8x500s with 20 second switches |  2 inches & 30 degrees > / i enjoyed our many sunny weeks on the river from spring to summer to early fall \ it will take a lot of motivation to erg for the next 20 or so weeks  / much more, to endure winter < but trivial in comparison to the typhoon disaster that devastated my home country >

i did not mind the snow until i had to drive / two years living in ithaca, new york left me with this beautiful romantic impression of snow & winter that i expected or hoped to find wherever i ended up living after grad school  <ithaca experience only slightly marred by the fact that grey hill house * alas gone! * was located on bleeding nose steep east buffalo street>

the necessity of driving dispelled all such hope |  so <love what you hate> will have to sustain me for awhile

teammate with funny accent practising what he preaches: in case you can’t tell, he’s doing a side plank < on a stony beach in england >

“proof of plankiples”

121113 plank

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